These Upcoming Kevin Spacey Projects May Be in Trouble Now
Kevin Spacey‘s career has completely imploded after a number of men have accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Anthony Rapp got the ball rolling by alleging that Spacey had made sexual advances towards him when he was 14. But the accusations did not stop there, with eight House of Cards employees subsequently accusing Spacey of harassment and with Richard Dreyfuss’ son later going on the record and saying Spacey groped him.
It goes without saying that the tragedy here is the suffering of Spacey’s alleged victims and not the way in which this will affect films and TV shows. Still, many are interested to know the impact the scandal will have on projects that Spacey already signed on to or filmed. Where does House of Cards go from here? What about the movies that have been completed and that Spacey has a big role in?
Here’s a look at the upcoming Spacey projects that will be impacted by the scandal.
1. He starred in the Ridley Scott film, All the Money in the World
Kevin Spacey was to star in the new Ridley Scott movie All the Money in the World. The film tells the true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of oil executive Jean Paul Getty. Spacey played Jean Paul Getty, although Michelle Williams plays the main character of the young boy’s mother. When the news of Spacey’s alleged misconduct came to light, Sony Pictures obviously went into crisis mode, as they’d now have to market a film starring a man who has just been driven out of the industry. The movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 22 in the United States.
Sony Pictures reportedly originally planned to push for Spacey to receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2018 Academy Awards, but Variety reported that the studio abandoned these plans after the allegations came out. Instead, Sony will now reportedly push Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg for Oscar nominations. It’s still not entirely clear how big of a chance those actors have. Critics have not yet seen the film. Originally scheduled to premiere at AFI Fest on Nov. 16, the studio canceled that screening, with director Ridley Scott himself feeling that calling off the premiere was appropriate.
2. Scott is reshooting all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer
In a stunning move, Ridley Scott plans to completely reshoot all of Kevin Spacey’s All the Money in the World scenes with a different actor, Christopher Plummer, according to Deadline. There have been instances of actors being fired and replaced after production on a movie had begun, but it is basically unheard of for a director to return to a completed movie to replace an entire character with someone else.
It’s especially mind-blowing that Scott is doing this because the plan is still to release the movie on Dec. 22. Spacey apparently only worked for eight to 10 days on All the Money in the World, so it’s technically possible for Scott to replace him in time, but that’s still quite down to the wire. It also means that Sony won’t even have a completed movie to market until a few weeks before it hits theaters.
Scott is known for being a fast director, but many are skeptical that he can get this done in time. Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem for Sony to just delay the movie a few weeks, but All the Money in the World has to come out before the end of the year in order to qualify for the Academy Awards. There’s also concern about whether this rushed shooting schedule will damage the film’s quality at all.
It seems that this decision to replace Spacey was Scott’s decision alone and even took Sony by surprise, as they had previously released a statement defending their decision to continue with the release of the movie in spite of the controversy, saying:
However, a film is not the work of one person. There are over 800 other actors, writers, artists, craftspeople and crew who worked tirelessly and ethically on this film, some for years, including one of cinema’s master directors. It would be a gross injustice to punish all of them for the wrongdoings of one supporting actor in the film. Accordingly, the film will open wide as planned on Dec. 22.
3. Spacey stars in Billionaire Boys Club, currently in post-production
— Ansel Elgort (@AnselElgort) December 16, 2015
All the Money in the World is not the only movie that Spacey already shot but has not yet been released. There’s also Billionaire Boys Club, a crime film telling the true story of young men in Los Angeles who engage in a get-rich-quick scam. It stars Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Jeremy Irvine, Emma Roberts, and Kevin Spacey.
In the movie, Spacey plays Ron Levin, a rich man who is a key part of the Billionaire Boys club story and can not be easily removed from the film. Filming on Billionaire Boys Club has already been completed. According to The Times-Picayune, the movie wrapped principal photography in January 2016. It also reportedly had a budget of $13 million, which is relatively low for a film with such major stars.
Billionaire Boys Club does not currently have a release date, but it was expected to come out sometime in 2018.
4. Billionaire Boys Club hasn’t landed distribution
Part of the reason that Billionaire Boys Club does not yet have a release date is that it’s an independent film and does not yet have a distributor lined up. According to The Washington Post, the rights to the movie were set to go on sale at an upcoming film market.
Now, whether any distributors will want to buy the movie remains unclear. Most studios will certainly not want to distribute a movie starring Kevin Spacey now. And because it’s an independent film, the producers likely do not have the money to just reshoot his entire role. Ridley Scott reshooting All the Money in the World will reportedly cost $10 million, which is almost the entire budget of Billionaire Boys Club.
Audiences will have to wait and see what will happen to this movie and whether it will ever hit the screen.
5. Spacey played Gore Vidal in the Netflix film Gore
The third movie that Spacey had already shot prior to this scandal was Gore. This was to be a Netflix original film about Gore Vidal, the famed writer and commentator who died in 2012. Outside of Spacey, the cast consisted of Griffin Dunne, Douglas Booth, Michael Stuhlbarg, Freya Mavor, and Nikolai Kinski.
The entire movie has already been shot, with filming having begun in July 2017. According to The Hollywood Reporter, shooting on the movie had just wrapped up in Italy days before the Spacey scandal broke. Gore didn’t have an official release date, but was reportedly expected to hit the streaming service sometime in 2018.
6. Netflix won’t release Gore at all
In the wake of the Spacey allegations, Netflix announced that it would not be releasing Gore. Netflix said in a statement that they will “not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.”
While rescinding plans to make a movie or a season of television is one thing, Netflix is taking quite a strong stance by deciding to totally scrap a movie that was almost completely finished and cost them millions of dollars. However, Netflix evidently decided that releasing Gore in spite of the Spacey allegations would actually be a riskier move than just scrapping the film and taking the loss.
The streaming service has a bit more freedom to do that since they are not reliant on box office receipts and home video sales like a traditional film studio would be.
7. House of Cards‘ future remains in question
Of course, House of Cards is Spacey’s main project. Production of the upcoming sixth season began in October, but it was not very far along when the allegations against Spacey came to light. Immediately after Rapp shared his experience, Netflix announced the sixth season of House of Cards would be its last. Later, as more allegations against Spacey came to light, the streaming service announced that it fired Spacey from the show.
This means that there are only really three possible paths forward. Netflix could cancel the sixth season of House of Cards and allows the fifth season finale to serve as the ending. The show could also continue with one last season by killing off Spacey’s Frank Underwood and making Robin Wright the new lead.
It’s not hard to imagine how this would happen. At the end of the fifth season, Wright’s Claire Underwood became president and began to freeze out Frank Underwood. On the show, Frank’s father died of a heart attack, so it would be relatively simple, though narratively unsatisfying, to say that Frank died of a heart attack in between Season 5 and Season 6.
The third and final option would be for the character of Frank Underwood to be recast. This seems like the least likely possibility, and it would be extremely difficult for another actor to take over the role under these circumstances, but this would at least provide fans with closure without the need to have Spacey back on set again.
Netflix has yet to confirm its plans, and production of House of Cards‘ sixth season currently remains suspended. But a recent report from Variety suggests that the producers are considering killing off Frank Underwood. Variety also noted that the producers are “exploring several options,” though.
Netflix will likely announce a decision in the coming weeks.
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